British Pakistani Christian Association chief, Wilson Chaudhry has whined over the fact that even though, historic churches are being threatened by the Metro Train Project, UNESCO has remained silent. “The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has stayed silent on this matter much as it did while ancient Christian monuments and buildings were eradicated from IS held zones in the middle-east,” he said.
Compliant with the statement by a spokesperson of Lahore Development Authority (LDA, some land of Saint Paul’s Presbyterian Church and Saint Andrew’s Church will be acquired for the Orange Line Metro Train project. In a handout issued on May 4, 2016, the Directorate General Public Relations plainly declared “18 Marla of Church land and 18 Meters of Boundary wall of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church near Bohar Chowk will be utilized for stairways of Orange Line Train Project Station.”
However, while further speaking about the prehistoric churches in Lahore which are being endangered by the project, Wilson Chaudhry said, “The removal of these church buildings is a clear attempt at annihilating Christianity from Pakistan and can only be viewed as one prong of a multifaceted approach to an ongoing genocide in Pakistan.”
He slammed UNESCO for being silent over the annihilation of the ancient Christian sites by the terror outfit ISIS in Iraq by saying, “Their silence on the destruction in Iraq was maligned, despite a lack of any influence over ISIS.”
He expressed indignation about the fact that due to the Metro Train Project, primeval churches in Lahore are imperiled, yet UNESCO has turned a blind eye and has not taken preventive measures to ensure the sanctity of these churches. “Their silence on this proposed destruction in Pakistan, a country where they are already funding protection of several Muslim heritage sites, reeks of a lack of impetus, fortitude, and desire.”
He went on to explain that these churches predated Pakistan itself, and thus are of great heritage sites of the country. He likened the damage to these churches with destroying UK’ heritage sites as Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral and St Pancras Church for the sake of London’ underground extension.